Tuesday, May 31, 2016

EUROVISION ARTISTS ALL OVER RU.TV AWARDS 2016 - LAZAREV THE BEST MALE ARTIST

As every year the lists of nominees are filled with Eurovision stars only proving that Russia indeed does send their biggest guns to Eurovision.
Serebro was once again nominated for the best group, Dima Bilan for the best song (Не молчи), as was Svetlana Loboda (К чёрту любовь), Polina Gagarina for the best video (Я не буду), with Alexey Vorobyov (Сумасшедшая), Sergey Lazarev (Это все она) and Dan Balan (Плачь).
Dima Bilan and Sergey Lazarev once again battled against each other in the best male singer category and Sergey won the second year in a row. Eye on Egor Kreed who could be the next one with Eurovision glory....
Ani Lorak - these days a persona non grata at home in Ukraine - was nominated for the best female artist again with Polina Gagarina, but Ёлка won this time around.
Nyusha, also a very possible future Eurovision name was nomintaed for the best dance video, as was Egor Kreed.
Emin was nominated for the best acting role in a movie. Svetlana Loboda also got a nomination in some other video category (Пора домой (Турция, Стамбул).
And then there was also a category and nomination for the sleaziest videos. Like this one: Только секс. Only in Russia.....

Monday, May 30, 2016

VAIN ELÄMÄÄ 5: CHISU IS IN!

Finally! Chisu joins the cast for the fifth season of Vain elämää and at this point it seems it's going to be a Chisu show, but then you never know. The other names are Hector, rapper Mikael Gabriel, Suvi Teräsniska, Lauri Tähkä, Anna Puu and Mikko Kuustonen. This is the first season we don't have any Eurovision or national selection veterans taking part but the names are big and current with those two older gentlemen with decades of career behind them. The most critizised name is Mikael Gabriel that most seem to be going with "Who?!" - just like Sanni last year and look what happened......
If you forgot how the show works here's a short sum up: The artists get together in a villa for a week. Each day is dedicated to one of them and the other artists cover his/her songs in their own way. In the end there's a final episode with duets. After the show the compilation albums will be released and they will sell multiple platinum and the show will take over iTunes and deliver a few number ones, and the artists careers get a mega boost. And most likely around Christmas they will give a cople of sold out arena gigs.... :-)
This blogger will be following the show right here once it is aired in September. Really looking forward for Chisu's covers, and also Suvi and Lauri!
Check out their videos after the jump...... And the list of the previous participants.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M WATCHING BUT IT'S AMAZING! AMERICAN YOUTUBERS TAKE ON EUROVISION

This video is almost as entertaining as the Eurovision show itself. Some American bloggers watch and comment the Eurovision in its variety, most for the first time. Some have heard of it before but none was prepaired to what they saw! Quite a few had noticed it with tweets earlier this month when #eurovision was trending globally. Also ABBA and Conchita Wurst rung a bell while Celine Dion caused some amazement. Some very interesting and curious comments fly and not in a silly way. This is very good. Love it. 
"So that's what they are all talking about!"
"The least American thing I've heard of!"
Good for you, that's amazing!"
 "In true American fashion we would propably ruin it if we were invited."







Sunday, May 29, 2016

IL VOLO TRIBUTES THE THREE TENORS WITH PLACIDO DOMINGO IN FLORENCE

It's been 26 years since the legendary concert by the three most famous tenors of our time - Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and José Carreras - in Terme di Caracalla in Rome. Now it's Il Volo's turn to recreate the magic with Placido Domingo himself in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, on July 1, 2016. The orchestra of Teatro Massimo in Palermo will be their "band" directed by Ramon Tebar. You can expect classic Napoletan and Italian songs, opera arias, musical tunes with some international standards. This is a one night only event so if you can go, this blogger suggests: Go! 
If not, the show is being filmed and recorded so most likely a live CD and/or DVD will follow... and a tv broadcast some time in the future. 
Il Volo is also touring Europe after Northern and Latin Americas at the moment but more about that later. (Btw, what is Måns doing? Musically? And Sergey?)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

ESC 2016: MONTENEGRO & CO, THE REAL (VOTING) THING

Checking out the votes given by various juries there's a curious foursome that seem to like each other a lot. Or rather a threesome that liked the fourth one that failed to make the final after all, despite getting almost half of its 46 jury points from these three, who then got the top marks in both semi final and final from it.  Now that's an interesting coincidence, isn't it? ..... Just sayin'....

Russia gives Armenia 24 points (12 in both semi final and final)
Russia gives Malta 16 points  (8 in both semi final and final)
Russia gives Montenegro 3 points (semi final only)

Armenia gives Malta 20 points (12 in semi final and 8 in final)
Armenia gives Russia 9 points (7 in semi final and 2 in final)
Armenia gives Montenegro 10 points (semi final only)

Malta gives Armenia 19 points (12 in semi final and 7 in final)
Malta gives Russia 14 points  (10 in semifinal and 4 in final)
Malta gives Montenegro 7 points (semi final only)

Montenegro gives Armenia 22 points (12 in semi final and 10 in final)
Montenegro gives Malta 22 points (10 in semi final and  12 in final)
Montenegro gives Russia 16 points (8 in semi final and 8 in final)

Montenegrin televoters agreed only on Russia that was their second favorite after Serbia while both Armenia and Malta failed to make the top-10 and score points from them

Montenegro's other points came from Greece, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina. All countries they voted, too. 
And then there was San Marino whose jury gave them 10 and received nothing in return. Fair enough. 

*In 2015 Montenegro's jury vote was disqualified and only televoting was used for their voting


Friday, May 27, 2016

ESC 2017: UKRAINIANS WANT LVIV

In a recent poll majority of Ukrainians want to have the Eurovision song contest 2017 in the culutral capital of Ukraine, Lviv instead of Kiev to showcase other part of the country. And this blogger understands that well as Lviv looks lovely!
The major hickup is the proposed venue, Arena Lviv lacks a roof. Constructed between 2008 and 2011 it can have up to 34.915 seats, and houses also VIP clubs and restaurants, media center and other halls that would surely turn out to be useful for Eurovision purposes. It hosted some UEFA Euro 2012 games; Denmark, Germany and Poland. Besides the lacking roof the local trasnport, mainly trams, and arena's location somewhere outskirts next to a ring road may play against it and that's a shame as Lviv seems to be a very interesting and beautiful city. I would be thrilled to go there next May!
They also bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics but withdraw their bid in June 2014, for reasons we all know. They plan to bid again for the 2026. 

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA TO FOLLOW ROMANIA OUT OF EBU?

We all knew Bosnia-Herzegovina was in Stockholm on borrowed time when private sponsors and the artists themselves paid all the costs, and now BHRT has gotten an ultimatum from EBU for the unpaid debt of 16 million Swiss francs. The deadline is the end of May and they must pay part of it and come up with a valid plan for the further payments or EBU will withdraw their member services. That means Bosnians will have the same faith as Romanians and will not see Euro 2016 this summer, all the other news and sports events and eventually not be able to participate nor watch Eurovision song contest 2017. 
There seems to be no solution coming up and time is running out, so it looks very likely BHRT will follow TVR and be banned from any EBU's services. TVR's deadline was extended several times by EBU until April 21, 2016 to secure their participation in the Eurovision song contest 2016 among other things. No payment was done, nor any plan given so they were withdrawn any EBU services and all of sudden we had only 42 countries in Stockholm. 

This blogger wonders if there are other countries in the same situation we are not aware yet?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: AMIR - AU COEUR DE MOI

Amir, who represented France with success - for a change! - at the Eurovision song contest 2016 in Stockholm released his debut French* album during the Eurovision holabaloo. The album includes besides his Eurovision entry J'ai cherche also his  single Oasis but ignoring his The Voice single All of me and video Candle in the wind. Nor this wonderful David D'Or affair is included.
Twelve songs with a nice mixture of French pop, a hint of oriental especially in the way he uses his voice at times. Some English here and there. There are several songs that would have been worthy the Eurovision stage in Globen. This blogger enjoys the whole album and it's difficult to pick up songs to highlight but Tres haut, I know, Ma vie ma ville mon monde, Lost and Il est temps qu'on m'aime are all excellent and playing in this household in repeat. If you haven't got this album yet and liked J'ai cherche even a little bit you will like this album. Buy it. Amir deserves to break through big time, also outside France. I give this album 4,5 out of 5. Love it. If it included also this David D'or affair it would have been full 5!
*He released his debut album in 2011 in Israel that you can listen here
And below is a nice surprise!

ESC 2016: HOW WAS THE SAN MARINO TELEVOTE MADE UP?

One of the burning questions in this edition of the Eurovision song contest was the new voting system, and while the new way of showing the votes turned out to an exciting success, one thing was forgotten after the initial anger and protests from San Marino RTV: How was the San Marino televote made up? 
With the population of less than 32.000 and most using the Italian mobil phone companies the tiny ccountry never had televote before, and is unable to deliver valid one so EBU decided to made it up "using 5-6 unnamed country's scores to make up one", yet refusing to tell which countries were used. Certainly not the neighbouring countries that would have been maybe logical, as Italy scored null points in this "televote", something that is very unlikely would have happened if Sammarinese people would have voted, despite their historical dislike of Italians. History and differences apart, music united and music is the same. That may have cost Italy a place or two in the final chart (16th).
And what happened to the votes of those countries that were used for San Marino's televote? If they voted for San Marino did it count?
Using this secret combination vote EBU is in theory able to have say in the winner. If it's very close (think 2004) a little bit of fixing on one country's televote can make a difference and voilà, we have a different winner that it would have been originally. This year the difference between Ukraine and Australia was 23 points (or only 9 points if we consider the Danish voting mess). Let's think that instead of Australia it was Italy battling it out and then they score zero from San Marino, that is as said very unlikely instead of a possible 12 even .... It could make a difference.
This year the fake San Marino televoting gave these points:
12 Ukraine, 10 Russia, 8 Lithunia, 7 Poland, 6 Latvia, 5 Australia, 4 Sweden, 3 Bulgaria, 2 Armenia and 1 Hungary. That agrees only on Ukraine with the jury's vote (and Russia and Hungary for the lesser votes) that was:
12 Ukraine, 10 Italy, 8 United Kingdom, 7 Russia, 6 Georgia, 5 Cyprus, 4 the Netherlands, 3 Malta, 2 Hungary and 1 Austria. Just saying.....
San Marino's Head of delegation Alessandro Capicchioni confirms even they haven't been informed which countries were used and on what criteria, and that SMRTV is working on an alternative solution and wil soon hand over the proposal to EBU.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

MARCO MENGONI, EMMA AND FRANCESCA MICHIELIN NOMINATED AT MTV MUSIC AWARDS

Three Eurovision stars are nominated in the Italian MTV Music Awards to be held in Florence next month.  Marco Mengoni has got three nominations: Best male act, Best "tormentone" or rather an ear worm, and Best Fans. Emma and Francesca Michielin are battling it out in the Best female act category. 
Here are the nominees in main categories:

Male artist:
Alessio Bernabei, Lorenzo Fragola, Marco Mengoni, Tiziano Ferro
Female artist:
Alessandra Amoroso, Annalisa, Emma, Francesca Michielin
Band:
Benji & Fede, Modà, The Kolors, Urban Strangers

ALICE PABA WINS THE VOICE OF ITALY 4

Alice Paba (19) from Tolfa near Rome wins the fourth The Voice of Italy in Dolcenera's team. The final was incredibly tight and she beats Charles Kablan (22, from Ivory Coast) with 50,19% of the votes! During the show she sung both Britney Spears and Björk,  not forgetting Mia Martini...... dressed like Polina Gagarina. 
Italian media is also reporting Dolcenera would be the very first female coach to win it in all editions around the world. True?
Last night she also dueted with the guest of honor od the show, Francesca Michielin in her Eurovision entry Nessun grado di separazione
Alice follows Elhaida Dani (Albania's Eurovision star in 2015), the singing nun Suor Cristina and Fabio Curto. Hopefully her career will be more succesful than the previous winner's..... 


EUROVISION 2016: 204 MILLION CAME TOGETHER

The slogan #cometogether became reality when over 204 million people came together during the three Eurovision song contest shows. It is not known how many towels were needed as suggested by hostess Petra Mede but porn site giant Pornhub did suffer big time during the show (read more here
In the host country and Melodifestivalen/Eurovision crazy Sweden 3,6 million turned in to see how the show was, or 84,7% of the viewers. That's the biggest crowd since... well, when Eurovision was in Globen the first time in 2000. But Icelandic beat them with 95,3% share. One question pops up spontaneusly: How many tv-channels do they have in Iceland? Also Ukrainians felt the need to #ccometogether with over 1,5 million watching their own Jamala beat Russia (and Australia). 
Germany also got their highest viewing figures since 2010, when they won, with 9,3 million (36,8%).
The average score in the 40 markets the shows were broadcasted was 36,3%, more than double the normal share. The share was even four times the normal in the younger viewers group (15-24) with an average of 42,4%!
Not only television. On internet via eurovision.tv and Youtube the shows were watched by 2,6 million people in 193 territories across the globe. Being one of them - I watched semifinal two via Youtube on my phone, thanks to Sonera's non functionability - I must say the Youtube broadcast was an awesome addition to the possibilities to follow the contest.

Monday, May 23, 2016

ESC 2017: MEDVEDEV WITHDRAWS RUSSIA FROM EUROVISION....

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev has decided to quit Russia from the Eurovision song contest. He said, that this decision came up after political winning of Ukraine.

"This is not a good song contest anymore, this is a show of dirty minded people, politics, secret LGBT purposes and so on. After all of these informations, we need to move away from this show", says Medvedev for Associated Press.

Russian artists are not so amused with these latest news. An this blogger thinks he should have more important things on his mind..... Make whatever you want from this piece of news. LOL. 

ESC 2016: JAMALA ENTERS THE FINNISH RADIO CHART

Jamala appears at number 64 at the most played songs in Finnish radios this week. The real winner is however Sweden's Frans who enters the download chart at number 7, the streaming charts at number 50 and is still number 80 in the radio chart after 5 weeks. 
Also Dami Im and Sergey Lazarev enter the download charts, at number 11 and number 17. 
The official album re-enters the album chart at number 10
Finland's Sandhja is already out of the charts. She peaked at number 8 in the download chart and stayed in the radio chart for 7 weeks peaking at 29. 
No trace of any of them in the official singles chart though....

MARCH 2017: ASIAVISION IN SYDNEY

SBS is in charge and it seems the very first Asian-Pacific Asiavision song contest will take place in Sydney in March 2017, just in time that the winner could possibly maybe in theory take part at the 2017 Eurovision song contest as well. This blogger thinks it's an interesting idea and won't say No right away. The original plan may have been 2018 kick off but Dami Im's 2nd place this year has caused the speed up in the process. Let's see how this will turn out....
They are hoping to get at least 12 countries taking part (out of 68 possible). Australia is set to form the reference group with China, Japan, South Korea and India. And yes, an European country could be also invited to take part at the Asiavision.... Turkey is also a member of ABU, will they make a comeback here? And so is Azerbaijan. And Kazakhstan. Associate members include France and Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and United Kingdom. 
Lots of ideas and a lot of talk. This blogger is still a bit sceptical about the whole affair. They have tried many song contests in the region and none of then have long lived or become a real success.... Like ABU Song festival.  And what happened to Golden Kite for example that Finland was invited to take part in the 1990's for example? 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

ESC 2006: FANCY SOME LORDI COLA OR LORDI CANDY?

 

 After Eurovision win it was evident some Lordi merchandise would follow..... like Lordi Cola.... 
 ... and Lordi candy!
Not to mention all the Lordi themed pens and papers for school, backbags and all that......

ESC 2016: NINA KRALJIC WINS BARBARA DEX AWARD

Over 10.000 voters this year and not surprisingly Croatia's Nina Kraljic won the title with 16,16% of the votes, almost the double than runner up Germany's Jamie-Lee. 
But then, Nina did have two dresses worth the title! 
I don't personally share this Jamie-Lee's second place as it only proves she wasn't understood, or rather her cosplay practise. Here in Finland it's not uncommon to see cosplay people so for us it's just a way to dress, just like dressing like a heavy rocker, or a hipster. Big deal. 
And Rykka from Switzerland came close third. Propably helped by her hair. 

ESC 2006: LORDI WILL RELEASE A NEW ALBUM THIS FALL. HERE'S THE STORY SO FAR....


Lordi have continued a steady flow with studio albums after their Eurovision song contest win. Their eight studio album will be released later this year. On top of that they have released a couple of compilation albums and Scharcived Vol.1 in 2012 that also included the songs from their first, never released album Bend over and pray the Lord (recorded between 1997-1999).

2002 Get heavy (#3 in Finland) 
Released also as Japanese and North American editions
2004 The Monsterican Dream (#4 in Finland)
Re-released as Limited Edition with short movie The Kin DVD
2006 The Arockalypse (#1 in Finland, sold 3xPlatinum. #1 in Sweden, sold gold, #1 in Greece, top-4 in Estonia, Germany, Switzerland and in European Top-100 albums.
Special Edition was released including DVD with The Market Square homecoming gig, and a documentary of their Eurovision adventure
2008 Deadache (#5 in Finland)
Re-released in Japan with binus DVD. Charted all over the world
2010 Babez for Breakfast (#9 in Finland)
Limited Edition The Breakfast box was released
2013 To Beast or not to Beast (#8 in Finland)
2014 Scare Force One (#13 in Finland)
Japanese edition has a bonus track
2016 ...... new album coming.....

EUROVISION BEATS PORN - HAVE A LOOK AT THE STATS

This was so funny and weird fact I just had to share it. The world's largest porn site, Pornhub suffered a major drop in their users the moment Eurovision final started. The biggest drop was in France (29%!), followed by Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria - all with over 20% drop. The European average was 11% drop and considering all the millions and millions of people using the site the numbers are huge when compared to normal Saturday night use. The average drop was 16% around the start of the show but the traffic normalized already two hours later, so maybe seeing likes of Måns, Sergey, Amir, Freddie, Zoe, Samra and Iveta was just too much for some needy watchers.... In Hungary there was a 80% increase right after the show, and in Austria an incredible 88%! so something or someone got them really hot and bothered! 
All I know is my readers went looking for hot pics on the artists, all my posts on Måns Zelmerlöw and Sergey Lazarev sky rocketed that night, especially if they had the word "nude" or "naked" in the title.... You make the math :-) The most common search word was "nude", combined with any given artist.... ;-p


Saturday, May 21, 2016

ESC 2006: MR LORDI TALKS ABOUT POST-EUROVISION LIFE


In another interview Mr Lordi or Tomi Putaansuu recalls he's used to expect all sort of Eurovision related interviews and requests every spring. True to his word also in this spring he has been commenting on Sandhja's performance and results - he liked her and thinks she did a good job, no matter what - and even made an appearance in the interval act in Stockholm's Eurovision song contest final. Last year the band was one of the acts in London's Eurovision 60th anniversary show.
He tells the band itself didn't see or was not aware of all the celebrations in Finland after they won; people driving around at night with flags flying, and all that. They saw all that on videos afterwards and were just thinking "Oh Lord, ok, cool....". They were not also seeking Eurovision in their CV nor any of the band members had ever had any Eurovision dreams. 
"That year YLE wanted to try something else. Nightwish had tried Eurovision a few years earlier and in 2006 also another heavy band, singing in Finnish was taking part, Kilpi. I think it all got so big as we were the first Finnish winners, it could have been anyone else and it would have been the same. For us Eurovision was just a little side path that in the end became a huge highway. In Finland we can't do any interviews without Eurovision mentioned, abroad it is only mentioned in one out of ten. I had hard time with it for years but now it's ok. It's a part of band's history and I'm proud of it."
He's also proud of the movie Dark Floors (2008). "It's a bit funny how negatively it was welcomed only because it was a Lordi movie. The Eurovision hangover was at full force in Finland and Lordi had become a swear word. It's a horror movie as it was always planned to be. Some people expected some cute little movie for kids. It only proves people didn't still know who we were. Even in our gigs grandparents brought kids to see some Eurovision show and then the tabloids wrote the day after "Children left crying from Lordi's concert". Yeah, it must have been hard to wait 1,5 hrs for the Eurovision song watching us biting heads off babies and blood all over....."
And yes. Of course he watched Eurovision final. Like every year. 

ESC 2006: LORDI'S TROPHY GOT BROKEN


That on top is the trophy Lordi got for winning the Eurovision song contest in 2006 in Athens. How nice and fitting the Greek blue and white is for another blue and white nation, Finland? Like many other winners also they managed to break their trophy. Or... someone did. They were not allowed to take it in the cabin on their returning flight and had to fly it home among luggage. And yes, it came out broken, the top and bottom pieces of this glass piece were separated in process. 
At the moment you can see the award in a Lordi Exhibition in Kemi, until June 3. Later this summer there will be another Lordi Exhibition in Helsinki, hopefully the broken trophy will be in display here, too!

Friday, May 20, 2016

TONIGHT TEN YEARS AGO: HELL FROZE OVER - FINLAND WON EUROVISION


Exactly ten years ago Finns had to find a new way of expression, "Hell will froze over before Finland wins Eurovision" just didn't sound right anymore. Lordi came. Lordi scored. 12 points from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Poland, United Kingdom, Iceland and Greece, 10 from Andorra, croatia, Ireland and Lithuania, 8 from Slovenia, Latvia, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, France, Germany and Spain, 7 from Serbia & Montenegro, Malta, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel and Turkey, 6 from Portugal, Moldova and Macedonia, 5 from Cyprus and Bulgaria, 4 from Romania and.... null from debutant Armenia, jury only Monaco and Albania of all places. Finns literally went nuts that night.....
Just for the fun of it, do listen the Finnish commentary by future Eurovision 2007 hostess Jaana Pelkonen, Heikki Paasonen and Eurovision expert Asko Murtomäki. Even if you don't understand a work you can live the tension, joy, screams, disbelief and amazement just listening them from the early excitement to midway disbelief and final explosion of happiness. Enjoy!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

ESC 2017 IN UKRAINE: KIEV, LVIV OR ODESSA?

Three cities in Ukraine have candidated for the Eurovision song contest 2017. It seems though NTU and EBU are settling for Kiev for all obvious reasons as other candidates Lviv and Odessa may be up to requirements from suitabel venue to hotel capacity and international trave connections. The work in Ukraine has already started and Viktoria Romanova, Head of delegation in Stockholm, hopes the people's fear of not having enough money to organize it will soon turn into joy and source of pride but the fact is they need some additional funding, and that's the main problem to be resolved. We can expect the decision where the contest will head to next May within a couple of months, before the end of summer at latest.
 "With regard to the budget there are no restrictions, but we have a moral feeling within ourselves that we should avoid luxury and sparkles purely for moral reasons, since after all the country is still in a war state" - NTU's General Director Alasania says.
The capital Kiev in the north is Ukraine's largest city with population of 2,9 million (3,375.000 in metropolitan area). Kiev alredy hosted the Eurovision song contest 2005 at the Palace of Sports, that hosted also the 2009 Junior Eurovision song contest.
Lviv in the western Ukraine has some 730.000 inhabitants and is Ukraine's 7th biggest city. Once center of the Galicia it fell under Polish rule before being taken over by Austrians, then again Poland, USSR and even Nazis ruled here so this city is filled with centuries of history. 
Odessa at the Blach Sea shore has just a bit over 1 million inhabitants. Originally founded by the Tatars in 1440. Less than 100 years alter it passed under Ottoman Sultan's power and remained there for the next 263 years. But before them there ws already a Greek settlement 6th century BC. Catherine The Great refounded the city in 1794. In the 19th century it was the Russian empire's 4th largest city after Moscow, St Petersburg and Warsaw, and it looks more like a Mediterranean town than Russian, thanks to its French and Italian inspired architecture. So, this would be a very interesting hosting city, too. Sadly it's not going to happen.....
Cities of Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk and Irpen have also applied. 

ESC 2006: MR LORDI SITS BACK AND RECALLS SPRING 2006 - THE FIRST FINNISH EUROVISION VICTORY


Lordi won the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens by song Hard Rock Hallelujah on May 20, 2006 with 292 points, which was more than any artist had received so far then. Lordi is still the only Finnish Eurovision Song Contest winner.
Helsingin Sanomat searched the news archives from that Eurovision spring. They run the videos and gave Tomi Putaansuu aka Mr Lordi the microphone and asked the man to remember the spring of 2006.
Let's start with the maximum, the Market Square's Welcome home party.
An estimated one hundred thousand Finns met in the Market Square to celebrate the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. It is said that from Lapland came busses filled with people and that part of them visited the capital for the first time.
"It's funny, that this is the gig, which most Finns have seen from us, and it is one of the shittiest gigs, that we're ever had. Just because the preparation for it was zero" he says. ”The atmosphere was great of course but all the rest crap.”
Lordi's record company's CEO Kimmo Valtanen, also Putaansuu's friend from childhood believed in the Eurovision victory from the beginning. Putaansuu himself as thinking top-3 IF they manage to win in Finland first..... He also said he has no any particular memories of semifinal, or it being any different from the final, except in the final they were sitting in the Green room.
Even before the Eurovision Song Contest Lordi attracted much attention in international media. Promotion was made all over Europe. Putaansuu says that the band did not understand that their attention received was exceptional.
"After all, how was it possible to know that what is exceptionally high interest? Whenever you have your masks on people will take pictures and want to do interviews "
At the semi-final time, Lord was already high on betting lists. They were predicted fifth place. The band did not know the odds, they just kept working hard in Athens.
"The days were very long, at six in the morning to start putting on masks to be ready for nine o'clock rehearsals. We did not have any free time. Only afterwards we heard that many other artists had time to go shopping and such. "
Lord finally won the Eurovision Song Contest final on 20 May 2006. The victory was historic in many ways. It was the first Finnish one. The winner got more points than anyone previously. The winner was a hard rock band. And the winner was a hard rock band, that was masked as monsters.
Victory meant that the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Finland in 2007. The organization of the ESC and the cost were questioned immediately even by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.
"Oh my goodness and now we have to spend money even on that." Putaansuu laughs.
Shortly after the victory 7 Päivää tabloid published on its cover Tomi Putaansuu's photo without Mr. Lordi's mask. The band had several times told the media about their desire to keep their faces hidden and it was totally respected. 7 päivää's decision sparked an unprecedented popular movement. Boycott 7 päivää online petition received more than 220.000 names and harmed not ony the tabloid but also it's publishing house.. Eventually, they asked for forgiveness. For Mr Lordi it was not enough. He's still furious. Even today. 
Tomi Putaansuu's hometown Rovaniemi their hero by renaming Sampo square in the city center as Lordi square. The winner was also given plot of land. For Putaansuu reception in Rovaniemi was particularly important. But about Lordi Square, he has a bit mixed feelings.
"If the guests want to visit the square surely I take them there. But usually I drip them in the corner and stay in the car myself my cap deep on my face. Not that I am ashamed of it, but somehow it's a bit embarassing. It is still really cool. "
Lordi received after the Eurovision victory a huge amount of new fans. However, the wide interest was ony temporary. At the same time any Lordi's old fans rejected the band after the Eurovision victory according Mr Lordi.
"In retrospect, you could see that quite a few fans rejected us forever. It is perhaps not because we went to Eurovision, but because we won. Many old fans felt like we were taken away from them."
The performance of Lordi in Market Square will remain for sure one of the largest in Helsinki's and Finland's history of music events. The karaoke world record, which in practice ment that the audience sang Hard Rock Hallelujah was made during the concert. The band did not know anything about this.

"This karaoke thing is also very curious. We heard about that afterwards. No one told us anything before hand. "
YLE's main TV-news the day after. The talk about the organizing the next contest and it's financing started immediately.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

ESC 2006: EXACTLY TEN YEARS AGO THIS HAPPENED.....


May 18, 2006. Athens. The monster from Finland qualified for the Eurovision song contest final. Later we would learn they had won the semifinal with 292 points. beating second placed Bosnia & Herzegovina with 25 points, and third placed Russia with 75 points. The sad and unsuccesful Finnish Eurovision history was about to change in 48 hours.... In the semifinal six times 12, nine times 10 and eight times 8 points. Only Armenia, Monaco and Albania didn't fall for these creatures.....
Check out on this video the Finnish commentators reaction. No need to translate......

ESC 2007 FINLAND: MIKKO LEPPILAMPI RECALLS HELSINKI 2007

Speaking on this week's special Eurovision episode of Newsmakers, HSTV's weekly English-language current affairs show, the host of the 2007 Eurovision song contest in Helsinki Mikko Leppilampi says  "It's pretty serious. The forum is so huge, you reach so many people. The economic benefits for the country and the city that gets to host it" are important, he adds.

Leppilampi recalls that he was selected to host the live shows after a series of auditions and call-backs. "I was pretty new to television and hosting at that time, so we just did the auditions, like everyone else" explains Leppilampi, who is currently filming the new Finnish political drama 'President'. "I think it was probably every single male performer who had been on television or acting got auditioned for that and it ended up probably being the EBU mostly who selected us". In the end in the final he wasn't to one to say the magic words "Welcome, Europe!" the honor went to his co-host. Ladies first kind of a way. Besides Jaana is a huge Eurovision fan and stealing that moment from her would have felt like a robbery, he says. 

Leppilampi says that although he knew about the global reach of the Eurovision Song Contest, he didn't fully appreciate it until he was caught up with rehearsals and involved in the shows. "I was scared. I thought I was going to ruin my acting career if I screw up. And then I have to move out the country because people will hate me" he says. "I also thought that it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It doesn't happen every year that Finland gets to host. So I was very lucky to be in that position". he also recalls how he ended up having a 18 minute improvised stand-up show in front of 13.000 people to fill in the recap of the finalists that they obvisouly didn't have in the rehearsals. He also learned all the songs by heart by hearing them for weeks all the time, and spent the entire week inside the venue or in the hotel. He never went to downtown and lived in the bubble. "After it was all over we kind came out and asked people How was it? as we didn't see the town at all. We were just hanging out with the back up singers and dancers and artists."

Leppilampi, and co-host Jaana Pelkonen who is now a National Coalition Party MP, spent six weeks intensively learning French, so they could deliver parts of their dialogue convincingly, a requirement of the contest. Leppilampi says he just memorized everything as he doesn't speak any French. There was no room for improvising. 

Despite the many problems Europe faces today, including a possible vote to leave the European Union by the United Kingdom, he says the ideals of the song contest are still relevant. It's a "way of unifying people, coming together and having a good time. And showing people who don't think the same way, that having a good time and enjoying similar stuff and each other's music is actually more powerful than bringing out a bomb and saying 'that country sucks, and we rule'" he says.
Watch the interview that includes also Axel Ehnström aka Paradise Oscar (he performs Hard rock hallelujah, and Eurovision expert Tobias Larsson here.

Mikko Leppilampi has made a very succcesful career after Eurovision.
Before Eurovision had made already ten movies and another 16 have followed, some of them real succeses. He's been in five tv-series and yes, he has also released one album as a singer. He has become most know for hosting tv shows and galas, inlcuding Dancing with stars, Tähdet tähdet music show and the Finnish Oscars shows.... He was also the Finnish spokesperson in 2008. Now all we need is him to become the artist..... Mikko, hello?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

JAANA PELKONEN APPOINTED GOODWILL AMBASSADOR OF LBGT RIGHTS

This week we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Lordi's win in the Eurovision song contest 2006 and I will be posting some posts related to people who were involved. One who was very much involved - and even more so in 2007 as the hostess! - was Jaana Pelkonen, today a member of parliament. 
She has been appointed today, the International Day against LGBT fobias, the Goodwill Ambassador against LBGT fobias by the Finnish Rainbow organisations. She has been tiressly campaigning for equal rights over the years, even saying she won't marry herself until her firends can do so, too. Congratulations Jaana and keep up the good work!

Monday, May 16, 2016

ESC 2016: POOR VIEWING FIGURES IN FINLAND - BEATEN BY ICE HOCKEY

A bit disappointing viewing figures in Finland for the Eurovision song contest. The final gathered infront of the television an average of 675.000 (1.392.000 turned in for at least 3 minutes), a bit better than last year's 650.000, and the first semifinal where Finland was participating 580.000 (1.181.000). That's a lot less than last year when Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät attracted 889.000 viewers. The second semifinal did the worst,  297.000 (607.000). Last year it was still 351.000. This however makes the top-3 of YLE2 channel's weekly chart. 
And if you think Finns aren't watching tv you are wrong: they are watching the Ice Hockey Wolrdchampionships in Russia, where Finland has yet to lose a game. The matches are watched by 1,4-1,6 million viewers with peaks over 2 million..... 
So far Finland has beaten Slovakia 5-0, France 3-1, Hungary 3-0, USA 3-2, Germany 5-1, Belarus 6-2 and is leading it's B-group. Something this Eurovision blogger has been totally ignoring until now.....

ESC 2016: SOME RANDOM FACTS OF THE 2016 EDITION

 
Belgium proves that when it qualifies, it's a success. 6th, 12th, 4th, 10th. In short: send a good one or a total crap, no need to get 20th something places.

Same goes for Bulgaria. If you make it, make it good. 5th and 4th in the final. All the other failures to qualify.

Czech Republic on the other hand shared San Marino's (2014) fate: once you finally qualify it's at the bottom. 24th and 25th. 

And that leaves us only with Andorra as the only participating country that has never been in the final.....

Big 5s Spain (22nd), United Kingdom (24th) and Germany fail again (26th). Germany last for the second year in a row..... Just imagine Australia won and the contest went to Germany for real - backed up by two last places!

Ukraine wins without winning neither televote nor jury vote. If the last year's voting system was still in use, Australia would have won.

Sergey Lazarev does Il Volo, wins televote but not the contest. Their 5th top-7 in a row.

Sweden scores 5th top-5 in six years. The worst (13th in 2013 and 5th in 2016) place being when hosting the contest.

France does their best placing since 2002. And only their 5th top-10 in 20 years.

Poland once again did great with televoters jumping from 25th to 8th thanks to televotes.

Both Donny Montell (from 14th to 9th) and Poli Genova (failed to qualify to 4th) managed to better their previous record, while Ira Losco (from 2nd to 12th) and Kaliopi (from 13th to non qualification as 11th in semi final) didn't.

Austria made a nice comeback from last year's disaster; Winner in 2014, last with zero points in 2015, 13. in 2016. Talk about variability!

Israel, Latvia and the Netherlands seem to have found again the key for qualification. One of them is about to win again soon.

On the other hand Azerbaijan is still making the final but that's all. No more striking deals with small countries, are you?

Italy failed badly the expectations. But the song isn't one for 3 minutes first hearing kind of song. It wasn't that even in Sanremo but grew over the week and further performances. Incredible but true it's Italy's third worst placing! After Emma' 21st in 2014 and Domenico Modugno's 17th in 1966!


Georgia did it's worst final ever. As did Croatia.  

Gadget

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